SD editing and then later film print?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by MacTO, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. MacTO macrumors member


    Apr 3, 2007
    Hi all,

    A while ago, I shot a short film on 16mm, which was transferred onto Beta SP and 3/4. (Digibeta was out of the question for me at that time.) I tried to edit it off-line on the Avid (school facility) then. It's unfortunately no longer an option, and I'm planning to finish it on FCP.

    My initial plan was to ideally put it back on film. But it seems like it's not the only option anymore nowadays when everybody is going HD. So, I have considered that too. Non-compressed HD.

    These are parts of the system I had been hoping to put together.

    Capture card - DeckLink HD 4:4:4 PCIe​
    eSATA card - Sonnet Tempo SATA E4P - 4 port "I" External​
    Storage - Sonnet Fusion 500P Enclosure - 1.25 TB SATA Array
    For the record, I do not have any intention of down-converting it to Mini-DV to save money.

    My goal with the film when it's finished is to enter student film festivals.

    But then I started hearing that it's possible but not recommended with what I have - Beta SP and I am not sure what to do. I'm so out of film/video post production stuff nowadays, so please bear with me if I lay down the silliest questions ever.

    Here we go...

    1. Whether or not I should finish it by simply digitizing it 8 bit/10 bit through a Beta SP (rental) deck and output it when it's done onto Mini-DV or VHS to submit.

    2. If ever selected, what is the next step? I mean, putting it back on film or something else to be screened?

    3. If I want to go HD, do I really have to transfer all of it onto HD again in order to avoid crappy up-converted footage from Beta SP?

    4. If so, is it really cost-effective in comparison to finishing it SD and putting it back on film?

    5. If no more HD option is considered (due to mostly budget issue), I do not need external RAID hard drives along with eSATA cards? In other words, would the 3-extra-RAIDed hard drives do the job in terms of speed? If would, should I get 3 x 400 GB, 3 x 500GB, or 3 x 750GB? Would 3 x 750GB be too slow?

    6. How about HD capture cards? If I go SD and just get a SD capture card for now, will prices on HD capture cards drop so that I could go HD in the near future (as in a couple of years) when it is more affordable?

    7. If there's any economical way of solving this problem, what would that be?

    Thanks a million in advance.
  2. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    How much would running your film through a telecine cost? Maybe find out whether they could give you your footage as an image sequence of JPGs. Then you could work in DVCProHD or HDV, and you wouldn't need all that storage space you're talking about, nor the fancy capture card.

    1. Yes, that would be the quickest way to do it.

    2. That would depend on the film fest's submission and screening format specs.

    3. Yes.

    4. If your offline material corresponds frame-for-frame with your source footage, and you do your film-input of only those frames, that could be cost effective compared to capturing all the film to high definition.

    5. HDV would work fine for you unless you're doing lots and lots of special effects. In that case you wouldn't need that type of storage.

    6. You probably don't own a telecine so you most likely don't need to worry about capture cards.

    7. The most cost-effective in terms of cash but not time is to get a scanner. Maybe one or two dozen frames would fit on the scanner bed at a time.
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    If your goal is just to screen it at student festivals going back to film is a waste of money, IMO.

    I know you don't want dub it to MiniDV, but for just a single project I don't think it's worth the cost to upgrade your gear to handle Uncompressed SD. Especially considering you're not making any money out of this project.

    Depends on the festival. In the past few years I've had three projects make the festival rounds and all were screened on MiniDV or DVD.

    Yes. There is no point in going Film->BetaSP->HD.

    It depends on your budget.

    Prices for gear is always dropping. When it becomes affordable depends on your budget.

    How much money you are willing to spend decides what's economical or not.

    Probably the most inexpensive, high quality method is to get your 16mm film transfered to DVCPro HD tape, rent a DVCPro HD deck, and capture via firewire to off the shelf drives. Do your edit and online, rent a DVCPro HD deck, output a master, then down-convert via software (Compressor or FCP) to make your SD masters for submission. If the festival accepts you but doesn't take DVCPro HD then take your tape to a dub house and have it dubbed to a format the festival does take.

    If you are doing the online/finishing yourself you'll need an accurate monitor setup as well. The Matrox MXO is a cost effective way to get a b'cast quality signal using the DVI port of your video card. If you are staying in SD you'll need a broadcast CRT monitor and if you are moving to HD you can use the MXO and an Apple 23" display to color accuracy on a budget.

  4. MacTO thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 3, 2007
    Thanks guys. I really appreciate your insightful answers. I'm not too familiar with DVCProHD or HDV yet but will definitely look into them. I'll keep you guys posted how things are rolling along. :D
  5. BigJimSlade macrumors member


    Dec 16, 2005
    If you want to finish in HD, then look at getting your neg telecined direct to disk. Get them to do a best-light pass to 1080p, then take the harddrive home and convert to ProRes for editing.

    BTW, if you don't have FCS2 yet, get it, as it makes this kind of "poor man's DI" very easy. :)
  6. MacTO thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 3, 2007
    Thanks. I didn't know if the transferred footage could be stored straight to disk before being digitized from tape. I guess it certainly would help skip the transfer-to-tape and then bring-in-to-disk parts, right? (I'm currently looking into telecine places.)

    I've recently purchased FCS 2. But embarrassed to admit that I have no idea what ProRes does or means. :(
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Straight to disk is an option, but I wouldn't trust my footage to only live on a HDD drive.

    ProRes is Apple's intermediate codec. It's designed to have uncompressed HD quality at uncompressed SD sizes. Since it's so new it hasn't been put thru it's paces yet to see if it works as advertised, but early adopters have figured out that ProRes is designed to run on intel Macs and is a dog on G5's.


Share This Page